March 15, 2014

5 Things Women Need To Do In Their 20’s (Or Else The Suffragists Died For Nothing)

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Shutterstock

You’re young, you’re free and you’re empowered. Nothing is stopping you from espousing a carefree attitude and and embarking on fun adventures!

 As young women in 21st century, the world is truly our fragrant oyster.

Don’t get me wrong, women are still oppressed to a monumental degree. The patriarchy is still an omnipresent overlord, endorsing cultural structures that keep women from realizing their full potential and contribute to a harrowing loss of self-esteem, especially to women who don’t fit into society’s straightjacket-like norms of what a woman should be like. However, we must remember and celebrate the fact that, thanks to the brave endeavors of so many strong and independent women, from the fierce suffragettes in early 20th century to the fearless women of the fat acceptance movement today, young women have it better than our mothers and grandmothers did in their youth. 

Here are 5 things every 20’s woman should do to truly bask in the glory of empowerment:

1. Mess around

Sexual liberation has done so much for women everywhere, and while our government still refuses to provide us with what we are more than entitled to (free abortions and free birth control) we still have lots of opportunities to have casual hookup fun and flirty, bubbly flings without being burned at the stake by judgmental cisgendered old men with white beards.

Your twenties are all about you. It’s a time for discovering yourself, your strengths, and your weaknesses, but most of all it is to do what feels right in the moment, have fun. You know that barista with the bristly mustache at your local coffee joint, the one with the squinty eyes and creative tattoos that just make you tingle and forget all about your pretty frappuccino, have a tumble in the haystack with him. You know that drug dealer with the shaved head and the facial piercings, the guy with the forearms that make you melt and who might have been to jail more times than Paula Deen has uttered a racist slur, do him too. And I musn’t forget the six foot three football playing frat guy that you see making love to a beer bong every weekend, he might not be an algebra wiz, but he doesn’t need math to know the right angle to thrust at.

Me and my girlfriends have a mantra, “If he makes you tingle, let him eat you like a Pringle.” This is something to live by for all twenty something women. Sure, he’s not gonna buy you any nice gifts, send you cute texts that make you feel like the only girl in the world and you might burn your feet on the hot sand of many exoduses of shame, but lord is he hot. 
Sorry (#notsorry) to all the creepy, short guys who come up to me and my girlfriends at the bar, the library or in the street, you don’t have a chance, so do us a huge just leave us alone. Maybe we’ll want you in our thirties, but now you’re just a pathetic peasant fawning over a princess. Just stop it.

2. Party

Anyone who doesn’t let loose and party in their twenties is probably not worthing even talking to. Like. Ever.

Become best friends with the bartenders at your local bars and clubs, try every drink at least once and then do it all over again. And if the mixologist is cute, you know what (or who) to do after closing time in the back room. Make sure never to pay for drinks though, you’re better than that. You’re young and free and women haven’t come this far just to throw away their salary on alcohol when chic shoes are so expensive. (Yes we live in a world where women’s shoes are more expensive than mens, thanks patriarchy.) Believe me there’s always some chump buying you shots thinking he’ll ever have a shot. Puhleaase. Dance like no one is watching, scream, shout and sing with your girl friends until closing hours. Nothing is stopping you from being the wild and crazy girl you always wanted to be.

Try whatever you can get your hands on. I hate to use the expression, cuz it makes me seem like I’m not that special, but you only live once, afterall. Go to concerts and get backstage afterwards with the cute long haired members of that band you like. Take those cute little yellow and pink pills they give you and hoover that table clean of white powder, then have some fun with their instruments, (both kinds). Sure, drugs can be dangerous, but only if you get addicted and that’s unlikely to happen–we’re strong independent women, it shouldn’t be so hard to not be dependent on drugs. And if we became addicted, so what? That’s just another adventure, and to anyone who disagrees, that’s just junkie-shaming. Just live in the moment and give everything a try or two, apart from maybe Meth and Heroin, you don’t want to shatter those dreams of becoming a model. Party on girls. You deserve it.

3. Major in women’s studies

This one is a no-brainer. If you don’t agree you’re probably an ignorant, sexist, transphobic, slut-shaming mysogynist cis white male and possibly a rapist.

Women’s studies is not just a college course, it’s a way of life. You learn so much about yourself and the sometimes, frankly, evil society that we live in. You will graduate a knowledgable unafraid young woman who will see the world through a warm and loving lens of social justice.

You will see the structures in society, laid out by white hetrosexual men, that still to this day serve to treat women like second class citizens. You will have learned about herstory, the amazing stories of impressive feats that women of color have achieved without being recorded in the history books, and how almost all inventions throughout history were actually invented by women, most who had the credit taken from them by oppressive men. Women’s studies is not only about learning about the oppression of women, it’s about studying the oppression of all groups that aren’t privileged. You will have added able-ism, class-sim and sizeism and many other concepts of cultural oppression to your mental dictionary and you feel so powerful because of it.

Women’s studies gives you invaluable tools to have in life and makes you feel so empowered that nothing can stop you, not only your future career in whatever prestigious field you may choose, but also in your daily life. I last used the rich arsenal of feminist weapons that Women’s studies gave to me this morning to call out a disgusting male Mcdonalds employee. I was feeling peckish so I ordered three happy meals, the order was placed on two trays, and even though I was on the phone, that loser thought it was OK to talk to me. Rape apologist. He asked me if I wanted help carrying the trays to my kids. I quickly put the call on hold and gave him a lesson in not practicing fat-shaming and sexism anywhere in my presence, and nowhere else for that matter. I got him to check his privilege and I felt a warm glow of satisfaction spreading through my body as I sat down, drenched my fries in Ketchup and went to town on my first burger.

4. Run a Tumblr

In case you have been under a rock since, like, 2005, you know that Tumblr is the most important website of our generation. It is such a vibrant place filled with all the right kind of people. There are so many social justice blogs that it would take a million and a half years to read them all, but that’s okay, reading them all would probably make you literally *trigger warning* explode with joy.

Post. A lot. Running your own tumblr blog can be hugely rewarding, you’ll get tons of supportive and right-thinking comments on your posts, you will feel really good about yourself you will probably make a lot of good friends who use hundreds of different pronouns that you can follow on twitter and get an even more diverse online experience. Of course, thanks to Patriarchy, you’ll get the occasional troll who tries to argue some stupid “equalist”, (code word for anti-feminist) agenda, but just ignore them and you’ll find most of the time on there to be very self-affirming and fun. 
Unfortunately Tumblr is not only a place for good blogs, there are some extremely sexist blogs featuring, for example skinny, blonde women in bikinis. Click away as fast as you can or write a good comment on why the authors are being sexist, heteronormative freaks, and remember that you are beautiful and you deserve the best whatever you do and who ever you are. Beauty standards are just a patriarchical imprint on society, don’t let them ruin your blogging experience.

5. Travel

Newsflash men, women are no longer your kitchen slaves, we can go wherever we want now.

Jump on a plane with a girlfriend and see where it takes you. Don’t research too much about where you want to go, just follow your heart and let it grow wings.

Did you accidentally stumble upon a documentary on India, and just felt like you had to go there. Then go there. Book a ticket the next day, nothing is stopping you and if you have a boyfriend, get him to treat you to it (If you don’t have a boyfriend to pay for you, and can’t get one in time for your vacation, there’s always websites that allow girls to travel the world, financed by rich men who really know how to treat a woman). Cancun for spring break? Why the hell not? Leave your boyfriend at home and have fun with the girls for a few weeks, do number 1 & 2 on the list and do it good.

You’ll literally have soooo much fun, waking up to a beautiful Mexican sunset on a beach next to some tall dark stranger, shopping for cute new bikinis and just laying on the beach waiting to have drinks given to you by little brown Mexican men. If you really want to show the world that you care about important stuff, you should volunteer. Go to some poor country in Africa and teach a few super skinny kids some English, it may sound really boring, but you’ll get a golden tan and but if you get a lot of good Instagram pics you’ll look like the biggest angel and everyone at home will love you even more! You deserve it. And hey, there might be some cute African men walking around with spears and stuff, at least that’s what I’ve seen on BBC. 
Stop making excuses. Just go, be free, and don’t think too much about it for Pete’s sake! The world is literally yours. Literally.

Oh and and and lastly 
Just be a wild and crazy girl in her twenties! Live. Laugh. Love. TC mark

Laughed at this article? Check out Raul Felix, Jim Goad and Nicole Mullen for more great writing.

Anne Gus

I’m a feminist. I’m a woman. I’m strong. I’m in my twenties. I’m beautiful. I deserve love. Give me it.